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Published On: Fri, Jul 15th, 2016

The New T5: JetBlue Rethinks Customer Experience By Launching State Of The Art Travel Hub

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If you traveled JetBlue out of JFK… you may have noticed a big difference in your customer experience. I walked into the T5 Terminal a few days back on my way to LAX on a business trip and I was concerned for a moment. Let me preface what I am going to say next by stating that I frequently travel on JetBlue and specifically the first flight out to whatever my destination is to beat the lines. Now this can be painful because it pretty much means I am getting up at 2am… and need to be at the airport around 5am.

I was a little more anxious than usual since my app (and an email) warned me that there would be longer than usual lines at TSA.

So I walk in the Terminal and the first thing I said to myself was… what is wrong? I quickly checked the JetBlue app to make sure flights were not cancelled. Why? Because there is always a sense of panic in the lobby from people traveling not quite knowing where to go and what to do… and most times have very little  time to figure it all out. Today… was different.

WHAT WAS SO DIFFERENT?

travel-t5-small-middleAside from the TSA line… there were no lines in the terminal and the folks that would normally be behind a ticket counter were all engaging travelers. Now in all honesty, as shocked as I was… I had a flight to catch and some work to do so I had little time to explore the terminal and see all that is new but I did discover breakfast Stromboli’s at Famous Famiglia Pizzeria at 5am in the morning.

As you all know, I talk about my JetBlue experiences often, I consistently say hi to the crew on Twitter, I have enjoyed my time with the team in Puerto Rico and Ecuador for special events and got to immerse myself deeper with the brand within their participation at Hispanicize 2016, where they invested significantly in getting to know the best social media influencers and digital storytellers (like me). That said, when the crew reached out and asked me to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the new T5 lobby, I cleared my schedule for the day.

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Having the opportunity to walk in the terminal without a flight to catch really helped me see things in a completely different light. Speaking of “different”, the first thing I will tell you is that the mix of human touch + technology will be very reminiscent of the experience you would get at an Apple store (I kind of say it all right there). To help you understand what has changed, here is a list of the new reimagined T5 Terminal key features

At JFK, the lobby design makes it easy to check in and check your bags, and reduces the need to wait in line.

31At a check-in kiosk, you can:

  • Choose your seat and see its location on the aircraft
  • Check in for a connecting or return flight up to 24 hours before departure
  • Print your boarding pass
  • Check your bag/print your bag tag

This according to Joanna Geraghty frees up the crew to add value to your travel experience by making sure that you have a completely unique and personal experience checking in.

Check Out Our Chat With Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s EVP for Cstomer Experience

Bag drop
9Once you print and apply your bag tags at the kiosk, you will take checked luggage to the Bag Drop, where your bag will be placed on a scale for weighing and scanning. Please remove old luggage tags, and have your ID and boarding pass ready. If there are issues with the size or weight of your luggage, you have the option to repack in our designated repack areas or pay for additional baggage fees at the “pay here” counter.

(Spoiler Alert… San Juan’s Repack Area has piloted a program that eliminates the horrible practice of repacking your luggage on the floor of the terminal with new tables that have built in scales to make the process easier and less stressful. It is my understanding that we will have that feature at JFK soon.)

Checking In Pets

JetBlue gladly accepts small cats and dogs in the cabin of the aircraft on both domestic and international flights. Other animals are not allowed. To travel with your pet, you must call our Reservations team at 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) to verify availability for the flights you are considering. There is a non-refundable pet fee for each flight segment. If you are checking in a pet, please go to a Full Service counter at T5. Pets cannot be booked or checked-in online or at a kiosk.

More info about traveling with pets.

T5 has plenty of options to relax, lounge, and pamper yourself before you jet out of town.

T5 Rooftop
Get some air before you’re up in the air! Enjoy the only post-security outdoor space at a New York airport – located across from gate 28. Pets welcome! Open daily from 6am to 10pm.

Mamava Lactation Pod
The pod provides a solution for nursing moms on-the-go. This private, peaceful, practical room is perfect for women who need to pump or breastfeed. Please feel free to use it for all of your nursing needs. Located near Gate 12.

Grandstands
Perfect for lazing and people-watching with a full view of the main entrance and plenty of plugs for your electronics.

Moroso lounge
Relax and watch planes takeoff and land at this lounge.

Free Wi-Fi
Check your email, IM your friends and family or surf the web with T5’s free wireless Internet access, available at all of T5’s gates. No special software required, just a laptop or PDA.

Children’s area
A fun place for little jetters to mingle and play. (a big win with the parents)

Last but not least… JetBlue has planted seeds of innovation, by literally going back to our roots as they unveiled the T5 Farm. In a direct response to the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge (GreenNYC), calling on all New Yorkers to reduce carbon emmissions by 30%. They partnered with Grow NYC to create a unique urban farm right in the terminal to engage their crew members, create a beautiful, sustainable green space and to help benefit the food insecure by donating to local food banks.

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T5 Farm

  • JetBlue is taking farm-to-air to a whole new level with an experiment in urban farming at New York’s JFK Airport. On the Departures level of Terminal 5, JetBlue has built the world’s first blue potato farm at an airport.
  • The urban farm produces approximately 1,000 lbs. of blue potatoes a season and about 2,000 herb plants, which are grown in recycled milk cartons using organic methods. The organic soil they are grown in partially comes from food waste collected at Terminal 5 which is composted by organic farms in upstate New York in partnership with JetBlue.
  • The blue potatoes produced are taken to TERRA‘s nearby factory where they are processed into blue potato chips for research of new flavors and ideas. All other produce is either used by businesses within Terminal 5 or donated to local New York communities through GrowNYC.
  • Customers can view the farm on the Departures level in Terminal 5.

Learn More About The T5 Farm By Watching Our Facebook Live Tour!

In closing, JetBlue has always been ahead of customer’s needs and they have built a solid reputation for doing just that. I want to personally congratulate them on really eliminating a lot of the pain points associated with traveling out of one of the busiest airports in the world. They have set the bar high for their competitors, many of which cannot seem to keep up with our Blue friends.

Major Key Alert!!!

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(I always wanted to say that)

I am flying out next Thursday to the National Council of  La Raza’s Conference in Orlando Florida (and for a few days off) Please make sure you check out my snap story as I walk you thru my T5 experience as a customer.

Not following me on Snapchat yet? Do it now…

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Have you been to T5 Yet, what are your thoughts… connect with JetBlue on Social Media and let them know!

 

I am also happy to announce that you can find them on SnapChat!

You’re Welcome

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Note: I am a raving fan of JetBlue, and I have in the past been invited to destination trips and have served as a social media ambassador for all things JetBlue, however this article is not paid advertisement and all opinions are my own.

 

 

The New T5: JetBlue Rethinks Customer Experience By Launching State Of The Art Travel Hub